#LoveHandlin: Oppression

By : Jerick Mediavilla
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In my previous collaborations, I have navigated general topics with an underlying personal touch that speaks to how we can address a specific issue with love and compassion. These are, by no means, a way to simplify, much less minimize, how someone experiences different phases of their lives. On the contrary, one can only value more and more the intrinsic differences with which everyone can tell their own story about love, life, family, circumstances and letdowns; and that is a beautiful freedom most of us can share.

I say “most of us” because we can never be entirely certain that “everyone” has had the same privilege, freedom or experience that many of us have. It keeps bringing me back to one of Martin Luther King’s most memorable quotes: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

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#LoveHandlin: Health and Compassion

By : Jerick Mediavilla
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“Bless you!” it’s the first reaction people say when someone sneezes, wishing them good health, assuming something could be off. The origin of this widespread tradition is somewhat unknown, but the true wish behind it is clear: We want everybody to look and feel healthy.

The scientific community has contributed widely to our perception of health, which not only encompasses physical traits, but also mental qualities and spiritual realms. I firmly believe that, whatever the reason we choose to wish someone good health, it is because our natural, primal need is to be compassionate towards others, and that is a trait many can perceive as corny.

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#LoveHandlin: Family

By : Jerick Mediavilla
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Everywhere I’ve been in my life—every memory filled with laughter, companionship and solidarity—has been defined by family. From my own family in Puerto Rico, to the families that have cared for me in D.C., Mexico City and now Orlando, to the co-workers I spend so much time with; they have shown me the true magic that two or more people loving each other can create.

It is an insuperable feeling when in hard times, sickness or peril someone from your family circle comes to the rescue, calls you or even texts you. It is our innate response to always be available to others, especially those we have grown up with, shared a life-changing moment with, those we have decided to marry or those who are brought to this earth as our children. I am sure that as your read these lines, many people come to mind, along with flashbacks of those milestones that have defined your relationships to them.

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#LoveHandlin’: Together

By : Jerick Mediavilla
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There is a sort of divine spark within each of us that constantly follows us through life wherever we go. Some people call it a vibe, an energy, a wisdom that keeps pulling us towards what some say is our true calling.

I started writing at age 10, right around the same time I first saw the Jean-Claude Van Damme movie “Bloodsport.” My dad loved his movies for the kicking, the punching and the blood. I loved them for… well, obvious reasons. His splits, stretching between two chairs, helped me realize I was gay—Van DAMN!

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